by Ignored and Disgusted, Mon Jul 28, 2008 at 02:11:52 PM EDT
It is generally acknowledged that for a politcal party to achieve success, it must be an accomadating entity that is willing to encompass views that differ somewhat from the "Party" line. This maxim has been exemplified by both the Democrastic and Republican parties at various times since the end of the civil war. At one point, New England was a vertable stronghold of the so called Yankee Republicanism, better known as the moderate to liberal wing of the Republican party. At the same time, the Deep South was once reliably Democratic, albeit conservative, which helped establish the Democratic party at the political center. However, recent years have seen both of the major parties moving back into a period of extreme polarity, resulting in the near decimation of the politcal center. As seen in the Lieberman/Lamont senatorial primary, many of the politcal left were unwilling to accept a candidate who shared the same politcal views except on foreign policy. Conversely, in the Laffey/Chaffey primary, the intolerance many conservatives felt for Chafee's percieved liberal nature on social issues nearly led to his defeat in the primary and played a large part in his GE downfall.
This elimination of political centrists has its roots in the presidency of Bill Clinton but its consequences have been magnified through the Democratic presidential primary. Several times, I have expressed views that ran contrary to what the left wing of my party held to be non-negotiable; I was promptly excoriated by numerous users and told to "go to Redstate, no quarter, etc". To blatantly attack others for having some differing views from the party line is downright foolish, as evidenced by the inumerable number of Clinton supporters that fled Daily Kos as a result of the veritable beating they were recieving. It is only through acceptance of deviations from the party line that the Democratic Party can truly widen its influence.
I have assembled a list of key issues that often produce stark divisions in primary elections and in general elections. They are follwed by my own personal views on each topic, but I would prefer not to be excoriated for any of them.
Economics: I am a die-hard supporter of the minimum wage increase and generally support the Democratic position in this case.
Foreign Policy: Sorry but I do not buy the "Change we can believe in" version. I am not a foreign policy hawk yet I was disgusted by Obama's declaration in a debate that he would meet with the leaders of Iran, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela, etc in the first year of his presidency (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1dSPrb5w _k). I was a vehement supporter of Hillary's advocation of diplomatic envoys.
Gay marriage: It should not be illegal on the federal level and should be left up to the states. I do support civil unions.
Abortion: I am unabashedly pro-choice, which is a major strike against a McCain presidency in my book.
Affirmative Action: I staunchly oppose affirmative action. Giving an unfair advantage to individuals based on their race is actually reverse discrimination, and I support the decision of Michigan voters in 2006 to restrict it.
Separation of Church and State: I am with Teddy Roosevelt on this one, the man who stripped our currency of the words "In god we trust." The separation of these two ideals is paramount to the existence of a functional and prosperous society.
Healthcare: HAving had personal experience with the U.S.' terrible healthcare system, I strongly supported Hillary's universal healthcare plan. Obama's, while better than that of Bush, was simply not far reaching enough in my view.
So there you have it. Please post your own views on these topics and if they helped lead you to support a particular candidate in the Democratic primary.